570 reasons why Chichester Harbor Race Week was a success

There should have been a fifth day, but a threatening storm loomed as Wednesday’s starts got under way and, in the interest of safety, races were scrapped for 14 of the 17 fleets – only youngsters on sheltered waters close to shore and the elite keelboats at Hayling Bay continued. On the contrary, it made racing even more competitive over the final two days of the regatta, organized from Hayling Island SC by more than 100 volunteers from member clubs of the Chichester Harbor Federation.

The top three places in many fleets were decided by the final race. Sailors of all ages and abilities participated, about two or even three generations of the same family. The 375 boats entered represented 45 clubs stretching from Devonshire to Cheshire, Kent to South Wales and including the regular Sussex Sailability contingent.

The highest turnouts came from within the harbour, including Hayling Island SC and Emsworth SC – who tied the points for the club team trophy. The biggest entry came from the RS200s, at 41, a week before their national championship at HISC. The three handicap events were also very well supported and included classic dinghies such as Ospreys, International Canoes and Merlin-Rockets as well as many modern asymmetric designs.

Spectacular sailing action at Chichester Harbor Race Week 2022 | Photos: Neil Shawcross

Many of the increasingly popular RSAero single-seaters were part of the one-design fleets, and the 2000s had an impressive 17 entrants. Competitors on the Sussex side of the port performed well: notably two from Chichester YC: Thomas Knight, who led the youngest group, the Optimists, and Sophie Kirk, first in the combined Laser Radials and 4.7s – where Sue Manning (Dell Quay SC) was the first 4.7. CYC’s Ian Barnett was fourth overall in solo, and his teammate Roger Millett had the same final spot in the Hadron/Devoti/RSAero 9 fleet. Competitors from Emsworth SC and Emsworth Slipper SC performed well. Conditions varied throughout the week, finishes were often remarkably tight, and the week further proved that dinghy sailing remains a very safe sport.

Spectacular sailing action at Chichester Harbor Race Week 2022 | Photos: Neil Shawcross
Spectacular sailing action at Chichester Harbor Race Week 2022 | Photos: Neil Shawcross
Spectacular sailing action at Chichester Harbor Race Week 2022 | Photos: Neil Shawcross

Comments are closed.